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USF Marks a Major Milestone in the Construction of New Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute

The University of South Florida is recognizing a significant milestone in the construction of the new USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute by holding a “topping-off” celebration.

In construction, the topping-off is a traditional event held when the last beam is placed, marking the completion of a building’s structure. During the celebration, invited guests will sign a 20-foot long, 800-pound beam before a construction crew lifts it into the air and places it on top of the building.

USF Health’s 13-story, 395,000-square-foot facility is scheduled to open in late 2019. It’s a key anchor for Water Street Tampa, a $3-billion real estate development by Strategic Property Partners, the joint venture of Jeff Vinik and Cascade Investments, LLC.

The new state-of-the-art hub for medical education and research is located in close proximity to USF Health’s primary teaching hospital, Tampa General Hospital, and its world-class Center for Advanced Medical Learning Simulation (CAMLS) facility. The building will be a key driver of economic activity for the Tampa Bay area by helping to generate a substantial increase in research grant funding, attract new biotech companies to the region and position USF to move up in U.S. News & World Report’s medical school rankings. USF Health has already recruited more than half of the 31 faculty researchers planned for the Heart Institute.

Since announcing the facility, medical school applications have increased by more than 50 percent. The incoming group of medical students from fall 2018 had the highest median MCAT score in the state of Florida, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges, and represent the university’s most competitive class ever.

USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute by the numbers:

The amounts of concrete and rebar are unusually high for a facility of this size. However, because of the clinical research and other unique uses of the building, it’s being constructed to provide extra defense against the impacts of storm surge and flooding.

Learn more about the project and its progress at, including a live feed of construction available here.

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